The Hershey Co., the Kellogg Co. and PepsiCo have been recognized as three of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2015 by the Ethisphere Institute. The organizations appearing on the list have had a material impact on the way business is conducted by fostering a culture of ethics and transparency at every level. Only five companies were honored in the Food & Beverage category this year.
"Hershey is committed to bringing goodness to the world, whether it's our iconic products or how we operate our business," said J.P. Bilbrey, president and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Hershey, which was named to Ethisphere's list for the first time this year. "Our longtime values are rooted in the belief that we can do well by doing good in society."
Hershey's responsible practices include initiatives to advance environmental sustainability and ethical sourcing, and the CocoaLink technology program for west African cocoa farmers.
"Building on our legacy of integrity, we wanted to ensure our Global Code of Ethics incorporated all of our 'K Values,' which include integrity, respect, accountability, passion, humility, simplicity and driving results," noted Jim Sholl, VP of internal audit and compliance at Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg, which has appeared in the ranking seven times since 2007, when the first list was published. "In addition to recognizing our corporate ethics and governance, we're especially proud that this year’s Ethisphere honor reaffirms our commitment to social and environmental stewardship and our philanthropic efforts."
Last year, the company revealed new global sustainability goals in responsible sourcing and the conservation of natural resources, and continued working toward its hunger relief pledge to donate 1 billion servings of food through the Breakfasts for Better Days program.
Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo, which marked its ninth straight appearance on the list, tweeted congratulations to its fellow honorees, declaring itself “in good company.” The company maintains a Global Code of Conduct for its employees, and its corporate standards cover areas of corporate governance, human sustainability, environmental sustainability and talent sustainability.
The other Food & Beverage category honorees were corn refiner Ingredion Inc. and Italian coffee company illycaffé spa. Others that made the list were Aramark in the Foodservice category, and British department store chain Marks and Spencer and Petco in the Retail category.
The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon Ethisphere’s Ethics Quotient (EQ) framework, which assesses an organization's performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. Scores are given in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), culture of ethics (20 percent), governance (15 percent), and leadership, innovation and reputation (10 percent).
The complete list of the 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies is available online.